One Spouse Can Work From Anywhere. The Other Can’t. So They Live Apart…

After being penned up at home during the pandemic, Jen-Ai Notman couldn’t wait to travel when she got vaccinated. There was just one problem: Her husband had been called back into his office in Virginia Beach, Va.

So in September, with the couple’s nearly 2‑year-old daughter, Emry, in tow, she flew to Europe without him. After visiting her parents in Cyprus, the 26-year-old Ms. Notman, who owns her own marketing firm, began working remotely from the Portuguese surfing town of Ericeira, while her husband, 30-year-old Rainer Agles, kept up their old life at home, filling in extra time by using the Peloton more and meeting up with old friends for drinks.

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Ms. Notman and Mr. Agles are among the millions of American couples where one partner has the flexibility to work remotely from anywhere but the other doesn’t. In some cases, this is opening a fault line, forcing existential questions about where and how they want to live and testing the relationship in ways they may never have expected.


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